What Is The Format Of The Ryder Cup? [2023 Format]

With the Ryder Cup taking part in 2023, the European team will be looking to try and reclaim the trophy after a very poor 2021 performance at Whistling Straits.

In order to win the Ryder Cup, the winning team must master the playing format and ultimately win the most points. But what is the Ryder Cup format?

What is the format for the United States and Europe Ryder Cup matches?

What Is The Ryder Cup Format?

What Is The Format Of The Ryder Cup?

The Ryder Cup format consists of five sessions of play across three days. These sessions include four-ball, foursomes and singles matches between Team USA and Team Europe.

The first day consists of two sessions, four foursomes matches in the morning and four four-ball matches in the afternoon. The second day consists of the same format, again with a morning foursomes session and an afternoon four-ball session.

The final day at the Ryder Cup is just singles match play, where all players in the team compete to try and get a point for their team.

Throughout the long Ryder Cup history, the format has changed a lot since the first event in 1927. The original team size was just eight players, but this gradually increased to 12 in 1969.

Up until 1961, the Ryder Cup was contested over two days with only foursomes and singles matches being played. In 1963 the Ryder Cup introduced the four-ball format into the match play competition and it has included a variation of the three formats ever since.

Here’s a look at the three different formats on display at the Ryder Cup:


For each foursomes session, four matches consisting of two-man teams from both USA and Europe are played.

Each two-man team uses just one ball and they alternate shots, including tee shots. One player will tee off on all of the odd-numbered holes and the other will tee off on the even-numbered holes.

The team that makes the lowest score on a hole wins that hole and if they make the same score, the hole is halved.

There’s a total of eight matches played in the two foursomes sessions.


In the four-ball sessions, like the foursomes, there will be a total of eight matches played.

Each team of two will play their own ball, so a total of four balls are in play during each match. The teams play a better-ball format, where the lowest score is counted and the pair with the lowest score wins the hole.

Again if the scores are tied, this will halve the hole.


The final day consists of 12 singles matches, where each player in the team competes against a player from the opposition.

The players compete to score the lowest score on each hole, with the lower score winning the hole and tied scores halving the hole.

Over the three days of competition and three different playing formats, there’s a total of 28 separate matches.

With Ryder Cup teams featuring a total of 12 players, not every player will play in every session. Eight players from each team will play in each of the first four sessions and then all 12 players will play in the final singles Ryder Cup matches.

Final Thoughts

The format for the Ryder Cup is a brilliant one which has offered up plenty of memorable storylines for golf fans throughout the years.

Because of the Ryder Cup scoring, just half a point can be the difference between a team retaining the trophy and losing out. However, the team captains will be looking to make their pairings work and get the result.


What is the format for the Ryder Cup on Saturday?

Saturday at the Ryder Cup consists of a foursomes and a four-ball session, with four matches in the morning and four matches in the afternoon.

What is the format for Ryder Cup Day 2?

The format for the second day of the Ryder Cup is foursome matches and four-ball matches. The foursomes session has four matches with eight golfers per team and is an alternate shot. The four-ball session is also four matches and eight players, with the best ball winning each hole.

Is the Ryder Cup alternate shot format?

Two sessions of the Ryder Cup are alternate shot format, where one ball is in play on a hole and the players take alternate tee shots. One player will tee off on the odd-numbered holes and the other will hit tee shots on the even-numbered holes.

What are the three formats for Ryder Cup?

The three formats for the Ryder Cup are foursomes, four-balls and singles matches. Foursomes and four-balls are played on the first two days across four separate sessions and the singles matches are played on the final day.

What is the format of the 2023 Ryder Cup?

The 2023 Ryder Cup format is foursomes and four-balls on the first two days and singles matches on the final day.

What is the 8 person Ryder Cup format?

Foursomes and four-ball matches feature eight players from each team, and each two-man team plays the other.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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